School Profile

About Us

Excelsior Classical Academy, a Challenge Foundation Academy, is a tuition-free public charter school with a rigorous, college-preparatory, liberal arts focus.

We started in the 2015-2016 school year with 252 students in grades K-4. We are adding a grade a year to grow to K-12. Our first graduating class will be the class of 2024.

School hours: Monday – Friday 8:30am – 3:30pm.
Drop-off begins 7:55am and pick-up begins at 3:30pm.
School office hours are Monday – Friday 7:30am – 4:00pm.

School calendar: We have a modified year-round calendar. We typically start at the beginning of August and end in the second week in June. We have a one-week Fall break, a two to three week Winter Break, and a two to three week Spring Break. Students have about six weeks off in the summer.

Our Mission

Excelsior Classical Academy is a public charter school dedicated to providing excellence and equity in education by developing in every student a foundation of knowledge, a practice of reason, a quality of eloquence, and a habit of virtue, to prepare each student for a lifetime of learning and citizenship.

Our Vision

Excelsior Classical Academy is animated by the vision that human beings are inherently driven to the exploration of the unknown, the acquisition of knowledge, the creation of community, and the appreciation of beauty. At Excelsior Classical Academy, we cherish every student as an individual and we believe in providing an excellent and equitable education for all students. Our students will graduate with:

  • Habitual practice of virtues, such as honesty, fairness, responsibility, and integrity.
  • High personal expectations, a strong sense of self, and the pursuit of excellence.
  • Knowledge that hard work and perseverance lead to intellectual growth.
  • Appreciation of culture, a broad base of knowledge, and a thirst for continual learning.
  • The ability to communicate clearly and expressively.
  • Good judgment, reason, and hunger for truth.
  • Zeal for fairness and justice.
  • Understanding and fulfillment of civic duty.
  • Respectful behavior and a kind attitude toward others.

We value the partnership which exists among school, parents, and community, and we recognize the part it plays in realizing this vision.

Our Program

Excelsior means “higher” in Latin, and at Excelsior Classical Academy CFA, we strive for continuous improvement in academics and character. We will help each student reach higher by providing a rigorous, rich curriculum in an environment that promotes responsibility, integrity, diligence, and excellence.

We firmly believe in making this educational option accessible to all students in the Durham area. We intentionally pursue diversity in our Board, our staff, and our student population. Our goal is to reflect the diversity of the Durham area. In order to allow anyone who wants to attend our school to do so, we

  • offer busing.
  • provide free or reduced-price lunch to those who qualify.
  • provide assistance with uniforms to those who qualify.
  • offer a Before- and After-School Program.


  • A classical curriculum based on the Trivium of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric
  • The Core Knowledge Sequence in grades K-8
  • The Core Knowledge Language Arts Program in grades K-3
  • Singapore Math
  • Spanish in grades K-5
  • Latin in grades 6-8
  • Additional two years of language study in high school
  • Fine arts instruction in grades K-12
  • Character education and service learning
  • Daily physical activity

Teaching Methods

  • Direct instruction/lecture
  • Socratic questioning
  • Class discussion
  • Seminars
  • Differentiation
  • Individual and group work, as appropriate


Teachers will foster a growth mindset, encouraging all students to believe that intelligence can increase through learning, perseverance, and hard work. All students will be treated as individuals, with high academic expectations for all.

Dress Code

Our students wear uniforms to place the focus on academics; instill school pride, unity, and spirit; and remove distinctions of socio-economic status.

Our Motto

Eruditio et Virtus (Learning and Virtue)

Our Mascot

Flying Lion

clean flying lion logo

Flying Lions take Personal Responsibility IDaily Effort in our school!

Our Colors

Green and Gold

Excelsior is a member of TeamCFA, a growing network of quality charter schools in three regions across the country. Our schools bring quality school choice to the communities and families we serve. We invite you to learn more about our network at

Our Charter

Excelsior Charter Application 12-5-2013

Combined Appendices for Excelsior Application 12-5-2013

School Report Card

In North Carolina, a school’s performance grade is based 80 percent on the school’s achievement score and 20 percent on students’ academic growth. The final grade is based on the following 15-point scale:
A = 85-100 B = 70-84 C = 55-69 D = 40-54 F = Less than 40

Excelsior Classical Academy opened in August of 2015.


School Performance Grade: D   School Performance Score: 49

2016 School Report Card


School Performance Grade: C   School Performance Score: 59

2017 School Report Card


School Performance Grade: C   School Performance Score: 65

2018 School Report Card


School Performance Grade: C   School Performance Score: 65

2019 School Report Card

Read to Achieve

2018–19 Read to Achieve Grade 3 End-of-Year (EOY) Results

Title IX Notice

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault and other sexual misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination. Under the School’s Policy, the School prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking and retaliation. The School complies with Title IX and has appointed Kelly Adams, MA, LCMHC, as the Title IX Coordinator with overall responsibility for Title IX compliance. She can be reached at

Any student, employee, or applicant for employment or admission to the School who believes that he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX, or has been a victim of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct, may file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will assist the complainant in identifying the appropriate School policy (with its grievance procedure) to resolve the complaint in a prompt and equitable manner.  The Title IX Coordinator may consult with other School administrators, as needed, to resolve the complaint in the most effective manner.

The Title IX Coordinator is knowledgeable and trained in state and federal laws that apply to matters of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other sexual misconduct, as well as School policy and procedure.